Comic Reviews of the Week: 1/20/2010

26 01 2010

Captain America #602

Ed Brubaker returns to Cap proper in this issue and seems to pick up his stride as if Captain America : Reborn didn’t even happen. Reborn as we all know (or at least everyone should) has been delayed many times and the last issue comes out next week. The delay of Reborn made the status quo of Cap very strange, his big return was suppose to be in the final issue but it got pushed back.

Obviously they couldn’t wait for Reborn because they needed to begin the hype for Siege. So what did Marvel do? They said “screw it” and let Steve return as planned before Reborn finished. Now, this has affected many books differently but I really wanted to see how Brubaker would handle the Reborn mess aftermath. Well I can tell you right now fans of the series have nothing to fear.

This issue revolves around Bucky going after the 1950’s Captain America who in a past Brubaker story returned to cause trouble but after a battle with Barnes disappeared.  The set up is very clever and makes the 50’s Cap not only an interesting character but a serious threat to our star spangled hero.

The way Brubaker handles the story after Steve’s return is well done and with just one line of dialogue explains Rogers ’s whereabouts. I like how it doesn’t dwell on the Reborn situation and just moves on with the story and returns to what long time readers of Captain America love. And as always Luke Ross delivers some great artwork that matches perfectly with Brubaker’s tone and bleeds atmosphere.

Long time fans like me will find this issue a welcome return to what Brubaker does best, issue by issue spy like stories with great dialogue and interesting characters.

Welcome back Captain America , we missed you.

— Jesse

Joe The Barbarian #1

Generally we do these written reviews on the slow weeks and believe me, this was a slow week. I read the Captain, but Jesse’s already covered that. I was gonna review the continuation of my beloved Incredible Hercules, but every time I read a issue I can’t help but only think of a few choice sentences. (Despite another misleading cover by Adi Gandov, this was a great penultimate issue for the fans… just hoping the finale to the arc is double-sized like the opener was.) So I decided to jump on the Grant Morrison bandwagon with his latest work.

Now, just as a precursor, a lot of the things I’m about to say will be seen again on different sites and podcasts (even more so now due to the lateness of my reply) so let me get those out of the way now, in a handy-dandy list then I’ll weigh in after each point with my comments.

  • Like I mentioned before, this is an eight issue mini penned by Grant Morrison. But what makes this particular issue so special is that it’s another one of Vertigo’s one dollar first issues.
    • The problem with this – And I know, right? How can a dollar an issue be a problem? – is that it’s not much of an issue. I had to read the whole issue before I could figure out the high concept (I wanted to go into this blind. In fact I went as far as staying away from the online solicitations for fear of spoilers…and it’s a good thing I did as they give away this issue and some of the second) and when I did, I have to say I was a little underwhelmed.
    • Morrison slow burns the set-up with various stereotypes and then lets you know that this is a stereotype…

    • …and the whole time I was reading this I couldn’t help but think, I really wish I was reading a new issue of The Stuff of Legend.
  • The basic story in case you didn’t know already is, quoted from the On The Ledge section in the issue, “a fantasy that’s Lord of the Rings meets Home Alone” and once you get past the slow build, the world where loose knock-offs of Transformers, Master Chief, and Batman (although, he’s probably the same) and bunch of other toys show up asking for Joe’s help.
    • I mentioned Mike Raicht, Brian Smith and Charles Paul Wilson III awesome series The Stuff of Legend earlier in this review (and even earlier with all the members in our podcasts) and as far as variations on a theme go, if you have to read a comic with talking toys, The Stuff of Legend is where you want to… (This series is more about the kid’s “interaction” with the modern-day toys and I put the word interaction in quotes because there’s a slight possibility this can play like another overlooked series, I Kill Giants.)
  • Sean. Freaking. Murphy.

  • Remarkable.

So after looking over everything, I have to say the idea is sound, but the timing and execution was not thus preventing me from a full recommendation towards a monthly read (though I’ll definitely check out the trade), but at least there’s one highlight and I’ll leave it to Grant Morrison to tell it.

“This book is worth it for the art alone, to be honest.”

– Arthur

The Zombies That Ate The World #8

If you’re easily offended, The Zombies That Ate The World is not the comic for you. Almost the entire paragraph on the cover of The Goon’s “Satan Sodomy Baby” issue could be applied to this series. This comic is written by Jerry Frissen (Lucha Libre) and illustrated by Guy Davis. (B.P.R.D.) The story takes place in Los Angeles in the year 2064. The dead have risen from their graves, but they don’t eat the flesh of the living. It’s quite similar to the zombie epidemic in the French film, “They Came Back.

The story follows three main characters: Karl Neard, his sister Maggie and his Belgian friend Freddy Merckx. Karl has chosen the not-so glorious occupation of Zombie Catcher and often Maggie and Freddy assist him. Don’t read this expecting the seriousness of George Romero films. Expect the insanity of Peter Jackson’s Dead Alive or perhaps Zombieland…on acid. Expect: Zombie rats, cockroaches, and dinosaurs. Zombie Sex. A naked, male zombie with no penis reenacting Night of the Living Dead. Zombie rednecks. Zombies who love pink buttocks. And of course, Zombie Jesus and two Zombie popes. This book is a love letter to everything Zombie…complete with Star Trek references!

In this eighth and final issue, we see Karl and Freddy get arrested for some illegal activities, take over a radio station, steer the country in a new direction, and enjoy the small things in life. The ending sets the series up for a sequel and I truly hope there is one. Jerry Frissen (like Eric Powell) knows how to write a high quality humor comic for adults. Freddy Merckx is one of the funniest characters I’ve seen in comics, and I’m not just saying that because of his fantastic name. Guy Davis’ artwork walks a perfect line between the gore and the gags, allowing the book to be gruesome at times, but constantly humorous. Unfortunately the art style on the cartoon adaptation of the book does not follow the same principles. It’s still worth a watch, though.

Even though the world may never see a Zombies That Ate The World cartoon, I hope to see more adventures of Karl, Maggie, and Freddy soon. If you haven’t been following the series in single issues, make sure to pick up the trade. It should be out in a few months through Devil’s Due Publishing…just try not to get offended.

– Freddie




%d bloggers like this: